District lowers 2013 tax rate

Supt. Mark Keen

Supt. Mark Keen

Westfield Washington Schools is lowering its tax rate for 2013 from $1.89 per $100 assessed value to $1.885, but because of property tax caps, homeowners will not be impacted unless the value of their homes change.

But Supt. Mark Keen is still pleased with the district’s ability to cut its tax rate.

“The one-half cent decrease is the result of the district’s continued cost containment and major reductions in utility costs,” Supt. Mark Keen said. “While the assessed value declined again in 2013, due primarily to the removal of properties along U.S. 31 for the Major Moves project, we felt this slight savings was important for businesses.”

The district’s continued focus on cost containment, reductions and efficiencies have allowed for further reductions in cost without reducing teaching staff.

Since 2007, the school’s percentage of the total tax rate has declined by 17 percent. The district’s tax rate has declined, even after adjusting for reassessment and legislative changes, 13 out of the past 17 years.

“The school board, my staff and I have worked diligently in providing a world class education to our students at the lowest possible cost,” Keen said. “With anticipated assessed value increases (with current and impeding development and construction projects), our goal is to continue with future tax decreases.”